You've been given the Kynseed, a mystical acorn that grows into a family tree where your choices manifest in its branches. Raise a family, farm the land, run shops, and explore a world where everyone ages. When you die, step into the shoes of your children and continue your legacy.
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We want to go to Early Access for player feedback and to help grow the game. Kynseed is no doubt an ambitious game and we want to involve those who will play it to not only help craft the game, but to feel involved and valued in our community. Following our Kickstarter last year, we’ve been hard at work expanding the scope to encompass a full season of the game and get more of the systems in place that will shape the full version.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“As with all games, nailing down exact dates is tricky, but we are looking towards minimum of a year after the launch of Early Access.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We hope to expand to the world of the game significantly. We currently have 1 haven in The Prologue, consisting of 14 regions. We plan to have 6 havens, a few hubs, various combat zones, and realms ‘beyond’. We will be introducing new items, NPC’s who age, and features that give players many hours of enjoyment. Combat and the progress of time are just two of the major additions we plan to add with our monthly updates.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Currently, the initial version of Early Access covers The Prologue of the game which includes:

  • 14 regions within The Vale, the haven you call home.
  • 38 charming (and not so charming) characters to interact with.
  • Many items to find and collect on your travels.
  • Tasks and events spanning a Summer month during your childhood.
  • Blacksmith apprenticeship first draft pass.
  • Each region has its own beautiful music to make your exploration a pleasure.
  • Keyboard & Mouse plus Controller support with an interface that switches seamlessly between the two.
  • A large number of appalling puns and word plays, plus references to things nobody born outside the UK beyond 1990 will likely understand.

We'll be adding so much more as we go along - this is just scratching the surface.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes, we plan to gradually raise the price at certain points when the content and features meet the right level of quality. We will always aim to deliver a full experience and never fleece you with add-ons and microtransactions.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We want to involve the community in all aspects of the development process. We are always available for chatting on Discord, both our forums and Steam's forums, and of course via Twitter as well as the magical Book of Faces.”
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Recent updates View all (13)

August 19

Dev Update: Our Combat's Looking Sharp





Welcome! Nice to have you back. Summer has been so incredibly hot here at Castle PixelCount that we’ll take any fan we can get.

The last time you visited us we were still basking in Spring and spending our days collecting bugs. Since then, the days have grown long and the weather has turned warm. All this additional daylight seems to have given us a motivating effect and has allowed us to slowly restock our reserves of midnight oil.

Temperatures are high and so are our spirits, but heads are low as we work hard on a veritable smorgasbord of treats for your delectation. Though the chief disadvantage to working in all this heat is that we're working up a sweat while working up a game. We recently asked our castle scientists if they could devise a way to keep the castle cool and they happily replied, "No sweat." That scientist has been thrown into the dungeon.

(You wouldn't happen to know a good Dungeon Keeper would you? We sure need one.)

It's become so hot that we could've sworn we detected the faint smell of bacon rising from the pigs. Even the chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs. We also reached out to our friends and allies at Valve to request additional water but they just keep sending us Steam.

But at least we still have our sense of humour. We've been telling hot weather jokes since before it was cool.






https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-jruoNeJU8


YE OL' UPDATES
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." At least, that's according to our good friend John over at Kingsgate Castle.

But here at our castle, there's been very little idleness indeed. Neal has been busy putting together systems for some of the big features to come. Matt has been surfing the waves of the internet while avoiding the heatwaves of California, making ample content for the patronages of our community channels. And Charlie has been busy building (by hand) the vast and expansive world beyond the gates of The Vale. One can't help but wonder, what is it that these gates are keeping out? Glad you asked! Because that's what we're here to talk about.

One of the challenging things to balance between is refining existing game systems versus adding new ones. For those of you playing the backer build of the game, there are many of the engine's cogs in place that still need further refinement. Yet we must also be careful to not refine too much, as other cogs need to be put in first.

In the last couple of months we've been very mindful of that balance. After we opened the gates to our backer build in April, our primary focus was on sorting bugs that you'd all alerted us of. After that initial round of fixes, we began to slowly add smaller new features here and there - tavern entertainment, quick travel, a lemonade stand, cooking mechanics (not to be confused with culinary car repair persons), among other additions.

Yet one thing that some of you may have noticed in our recent change logs is that there's been a gradually increasing use of the phrase 'behind the scenes'. That's because we're now moving to the other side of that aforementioned balance and the time has come for us to turn our attention to one of the larger cogs ahead: combat!




COMBAT IN KYNSEED
Up until now, combat preparations have been largely invisible to outside appearances, but things are now approaching the point in which we have something to show - a prospect that hopefully excites each of you as much as it excites us. Combat is one of the most challenging elements to add to any game, often depending entirely on 'feeling'. Which is to say that to most players, a game's combat either feels right or it doesn't. There's so many subtle nuances that go into it, ranging from controls to timing animations to audio feedback.

We recently challenged our character animator to a duel and asked him to draw his sword, but all he did was send us sword drawings. We figured we might as well use them and so we've been slowly but surely piecing together combat art and animations. The game's sword attacks aren't yet cutting edge, but each day we get closer to having something ready for you to play.

We've also been looking at various other games and their combat systems (research, ahem, not playing them for leisure). In general we're aiming (ho ho!) to have a meaty combat system that starts off simple - you are a simple farm kid after all. We'll then expand your skillset so you become a monster slaying blur of blades over time. Battling needs to be responsive and fun and impactful, not a repetitive grindfest. We also have a range of diverse monster types whose attacks will keep you on your toes, all beautifully crafted by Gary, the pixel whisperer.







WANT TO HELP TEST COMBAT EARLY?
Combat is one of those things that relies heavily on playtesting, which is why we're keen to put together a small group of testers to give us focused feedback so that we can work out all the initial kinks before updating the backer build for everyone else to have a go. So any of you who are Dev Access backers (Land Shaper tiers and higher) will soon be given an extremely early build of our very first combat tests.

This will actually come in the form of a separate download altogether and will be focused on combat alone - it'll basically consist of testbed regions that we've made just for playtesting combat systems. It's in these test regions that you'll go up against the first type of folklore monsters that roam Kynseed's wild countryside. During this time we'll be working with each of you closely so that we can extract your delicious feedback to help fuel the development machine.

Be sure to keep an eye on your backer emails as well as the Dev Pub on our official forums for updates on when this combat testing ground will become available. And if you're not at the Land Shaper or higher tier but still want to try out these early combat tests, you can hop on over to the Kynseed crowdfunding page and select any 'upgrade to this tier' link to upgrade your backer tier to one of your choosing.



NEW BACKER BUILD UPDATES
But just because combat's been our recent focus doesn't mean there hasn't been progress made on other neat things as well. Below is a quick look at some of the additions that have been made to the backer build of the game since last we spoke. In fact, if you've not played the latest backer build in a while you can update your game right this instant and see all these changes for yourself!

Recent Backer Build Additions:
  • Visiting entertainers now appear in the tavern
  • A few region's layouts have changed (dramatically in some cases!)
  • A 'lemonade stand' to sell goods to villagers for a profit
  • New cooking and baking mechanics (some recipes now have consequences too...)
  • New art here and there, such as new fish sprites and idle animations for wandering villagers
  • Work done on NPC's so they act more intelligently (with new debug tools to better find NPC issues)
  • Blacksmith minigame improvements in both look and design
  • Continued refinements to controls and UI
  • Animation system refinements to anchor objects on frames for more accurate animation placement
  • And more polish and bug fixes than you can shake a stick at! (please stop shaking sticks)

In addition to the above, we've also been working on adding a number of first passes at upcoming features. It's all very rough and unrefined at the moment (and will continue to be for some time), but below is a small peek at some things we're working on for future updates.

Behind the Scenes Work:
  • Basic player customisation
  • Work on all four seasons (not the popular hotel chain)
  • New regions beyond The Vale
  • Editor brush system refinements to aid level design
  • Oh, and as already mentioned, combat!


UPCOMING GIVEAWAY
Almost everything we do on this project, ranging from backer rewards to the game itself, has been purely digital in nature. But if you're the sort of person who'd like to get your hands on an actual physical piece of the game's development then you'll be most interested to know that we've got a special giveaway coming sometime in the near future. (Ah, the near future. The magical land where all game developer dreams come true.)

To make sure you don't miss it, you'll want to give us a hearty follow over on Kynseed's Twitter as that's where we'll be sharing it first. But for good measure, also feel free to join the PixelCount Discord and join the PixelCount Community Forums, as we'll be announcing it there as well.

And while you're in a following sort of mood, you might as well subscribe to PixelCount's YouTube. We're going to be sharing some choice selections from the Kynseed soundtrack over the next few weeks and we'll be putting it all together in a handy YouTube playlist for all of you to enjoy, starting with the video featured at the very top of this update!









In late September we'll wander through the fallen leaves of Summer's ghosts, serving as a reminder of new seasons yet to come in The Vale. At this very moment, our artists are painting leaves and whitening snow in preparation for year round visitors.

Some not-so-distant day from now, we'll open the big gates to Kynseed so that everyone can visit. While we still don't know when this magical date will be, we do know that it's never too late to start preparing - especially given how humbled and surprised we were when so many of you showed up for an early look back in April.

It's important that we're ready and prepared for that grand day, so we've been busy putting plans together, plotting out ideas, and marking down calendars. We've even been rearranging things here at the castle so that we can accommodate as many guests as possible. Previously, our meat storage was kept on ground level but to make room we've moved it up to the castle tower. So the steaks are high.

Love,
PixelCount



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August 13

The PixelCount Post - Issue #36

Welcome to Issue #36 of The PixelCount Post, a weekly development update written by members of the Kynseed team. In this week's issue: Matt shares combat updates while parrying with puns, Charlie orders off the menu, Neal brushes up on brushing up, and Matthijs has fun without us.
















Here at PixelCount, interesting things are afoot and coming to a head with exciting announcements a mere arm's length away. We've been keeping our artists on their toes and they've been making more combat assets than you can shake a leg at. Their work has been amazing and we've really gotta hand it to them. Thus far, we've been keeping combat images pretty close to the chest, but this week that all changes! We'll also soon be talking about which neck of the woods some of this sword parrying will take place. All that to say, you'll want to keep an eye out for upcoming combat news.

Our current plan is to put together one of our larger development/backer updates later this week. In it we're going to give a very tentative first look at how combat animation is coming along as well as discuss a few details on how we envision combat's design to be implemented. We'll also be sharing a few morsels of info on when you fine people will get a chance to try out some of the very early versions of the combat systems in the future.

In other news, things have also been progressing nicely in new and existing areas of development. We've actually had our hands surprisingly full these past few weeks which has also been coupled with team member schedules being a bit all over the place. (For example, our dear composer has been away for a few weeks travelling around Estonia playing with other musicians! I'm personally looking forward to seeing what creative inspiration his trip has stirred within him, especially considering Estonia's amazing history.) This meant we didn't have a chance to put together a new issue of The Post until just now, but thankfully it's all for good reason due to getting some new content and announcements ready for your delectation.

So if you fancy learning a bit more about combat (which is the next big chunk of the game that we'll be adding), be sure to follow us in all the usual places. See you again later this week!







A very difficult week on a personal level with various happenings going on at home, but as the week closed out the problems were gone and I felt inspired and energised. Neal had the levels on lockout as he conjured up some new brush and tool magic to aid with level creation. That meant I could do a playthrough and note down everything we need for Early Access - there's a lot to do and not much time to do it!

I found playing to be very relaxing and enjoyable, although all the missing and broken bits make me shudder. But I know that they will be sorted, and looking beyond all that I could see a very special title; we just need to ensure we stay honest and stick to our path. Having great comments from our community is a huge part of that. We find that when we get positivity we get bursts of extra energy.

I also got to look at the Left D-Pad function. The controls will be moved to a section in the Options and replaced with a screen that has three tabs: Skills, Kynseed, and Status. These show a lot of info, so they'll need to be clean and consistent with other menus. I will post the mock ups in the Dev Pub in the near future. (I use Visio for them as it is easy for my technically limited brain and pap art skills.)

So then, onwards and upwards. So many exciting things happening (the monsters are incredible, combat looking potentially very cool, and so on). Glad you are all with us for the ride!







In the last few weeks, we've released a build (yay!) and have been working towards a planned build around the end of August. The attrition process I've been working with (slowly getting new features in step by step each day) has been mostly working out. Although there does come a time where it becomes necessary to focus more intensely on a particular area to get it usable and be able to move on.

Most recently that's been about setting up the brush mode to have saveable templates and make it possible to paint down multiple sprites in the same brush. These small, but important, additions should make it much easier to fill out the landscapes (though a further few pieces I need to work on is the spacing of sprites and the ability to replace anything already in that area so that areas can have a consistent density and be instantly reimagined).

Along with this tools work, I've also been looking at improving some systems like animations to have anchor points within their frames. This allows more accurate placing of objects per frame such as the fishing line and will also be used for holding objects and potentially paired anims at a later point. After a small experiment at getting the pixel color of a given point on a texture I've also been able to setup something which may well be the key to doing some basic character customisation which will be expanded on soon.

I've also been starting to have some thoughts on polish and ways to improve the UI which has honestly been a bit of a nightmare setting up (each screen is custom hand created and it makes iteration work really quite time consuming). This should tie in nicely with an interesting new UI screen that has been mocked up. There's also playthrough feedback and plans that have to get underway too. So much to do, so time to get back to it!







Note from the Editor: Our good friend and musician has been spending these past few weeks all across the beautiful regions of Estonia alongside a merry traveling band. The following two entries were sent about a week apart as he found time to write in from his travels. - Matt

I find myself far away from home today. I have left the safety of the Vale and entered strange lands where I don't speak the language. Even though the landscape looks largely the same here in Estonia, it's also different. My trip through Latvia on the way here especially reminded me of landscapes from The Witcher or Operation Flashpoint. I'd imagine it's not unlike how the player character might feel once they can leave the Vale.

In these countries they have strong traditions of music, especially singing. They can even manage to get a few tens of thousands of people together to sing important folk songs that celebrate their independence. You'd not go through that without being moved should you have the opportunity to hear it. It's also that strong tradition of music why I am here. Each year choirs from all over Europe come together to sing and learn through courses and ateliers. I will be taking part, and return home with what I've learnt. No doubt inspiration from this will find it's way into Kynseed...





I find myself near Vilnius today, about to leave the Baltic states. My journey home isn't over yet. I still have to cross Poland and Germany. My week in Tallinn at Europa Cantat was an extraordinary learning experience. So many ways of making music from all over the world gather there. So much to see, absorb, and make my own. Music has always been rife with foreign influence, and for Kynseed I frequently have to dive into cultures of music I was previously unfamiliar with. Learning how composers the world over adopt aspects of music from other places and make it their own has been great! You may not realize it, but even the modern orchestra would not exist without constant adopting of instruments from elsewhere.

I also witnessed top-notch performances from absolutely amazing groups, such as the Swingles, the Estonian national male choir, the Hong Kong youth choir, Collegium Musicale, and many more. When surrounded by so much excellence in music, you can't help but to learn things! All the more appropriate that the lectures I witnessed were in the University buildings. It was literally 'back to school' for me. Tallinn is also filled to the brim with amazing concert halls with stunning architecture.

This too inspires greatly, and reiterated to me just how important it is to surround yourself with the right things. You are constantly influenced by everything around you, even when it's not actively trying to influence you. Take control over your environment and you greatly increase your chances for a brighter future...




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About This Game



Kynseed is a sandbox RPG adventure life sim brought to you by developers who worked on the Fable series for Lionhead Studios.

Live your life in a quirky world where everyone ages and dies, including your pets! Take control of the mystical Kynseed and grow your family legacy over generations as you pass your skills and powers down to your children.

  • Run a business such as a blacksmith, tavern, apothecary, or goods store.
  • Go adventuring in dangerous regions and battle dark faery tale creatures.
  • Farm your land to create various ingredients that you'll come to rely on.
  • Develop relationships with NPC’s who have their own lives and loves, and who will remember your deeds, actions and pranks!
  • Find proverbs to unlock the secrets of each ingredient, creature and inhabitant of a place where folk tales are all true.
  • Gather materials to create better items, craft beers, or to mix cures for a range of bizarre maladies that sometimes afflict the simple people of the land.
  • Buy strange artifacts from the mysterious Fae gentleman, Mr Fairweather, which can aid your chores, help you in combat, or let you just mess with the world - but be aware of the life tax he extracts annually!

In Kynseed, live your lives the way you choose in a lovingly hand-crafted 2D open world.

ABOUT PIXELCOUNT STUDIOS


We are a team of little pigs building a brick house to keep the wolf from the door. With over 30 years of collective experience developing the Fable series and its community, we hope to infuse our games with the same charm, eccentricity, and humour that permeated that series.

Using all their experiences from Lionhead, the team is working hard to make Kynseed the sort of game they’d always wished had been made. To help us on this journey, we’ll be calling upon the PixelCount community (that’s you!) to give us feedback, guidance, and flattery. Mainly the latter, if we’re being honest.

Ultimately, we want to keep it real with the players and never feed them a company line. So, for better or worse, you can expect us to talk to you with the same honesty and candor as a coworker: with plenty of cursing and sarcasm.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 11 compatible video card
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Since Kynseed is currently in active development, these requirements are subject to change over time. Please contact us if you have any questions or problems.

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